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Christmas Break

Posted on January 6, 2021 by under Hobbies, Things to Do.    

I took time off work after Christmas and didn’t resume working again until the Monday after New Year’s Day. I was still checking emails and working on stuff, of course, but at least I wasn’t tethered to my desk like on a normal workday. Christmas break was a nice respite from my normal routine and I took advantage of the time off to play daytime pickleball, a luxury I don’t usually have.


The day after Christmas, I played mixed doubles with Steve Vetter, Jon Maugans and Karen Fox. I had originally asked Tom Pham and Jimmy Cho but Tom was quarantining due to being exposed to COVID and Jimmy didn’t want to accept my invitation because he was holding out for the guys’ normal Saturday morning play at Chicken N Pickle. I should have told him not to get his hopes up because the girls couldn’t get courts and that’s actually why I arranged for a mixed game. That, and I prefer to play mixed anyway, so no having any courts available at CNP actually worked in my favor.

Jimmy eventually found out there was no King of Courts that weekend and I got a text from him late on Christmas Day asking if I’d found players. Shortly after he declined my original invite, I started working on locking in Steve and Jon and so at that point we already had our group set. I’m glad Steve and Jon were available to play that day. They are so fun and I had a great time.

Karen, Brian and I had lunch at Carrabba’s after and while at lunch I had the foresight to check Playtime Scheduler. I actually got in to the Brunch & Bingo open play at Chicken N Pickle for once. All the spots usually fill up less than five minutes after the play time is posted. It is very hard to get in because you have to time it just right. I think I experienced a Christmas miracle.

After open play on Sunday morning, a bunch of us hung around for Brunch & Bingo. I never really win but it’s a fun way to pass the time.


The week following Christmas, I had the opportunity to play pickleball with lots of people. Karen set up several play times for us to practice women’s doubles. On Monday we played with Chandi Bongers and Lori Belew. On Thursday, we played with Chandi and Kristen Conrad. On Friday, we played with Brooke Ayala and Krista Crawford. We were trying to set up games with Chandi and Kristen because they were originally going to play in our division in the Arizona tournament in February. However, now that the tournament has been extended, Chandi is playing with Krista in the 50+ division instead.

We also had some mixed games. On Tuesday, I arranged for us to play with Tony Swantek and Logan Schrag. That was another Christmas miracle. I’d only ever played four games in total with Tony – ever. I fully expected him say no and I was ready to on move down the list but he accepted. Getting two hours of play with Tony was definitely one of the highlights of the week. On Wednesday, Karen set up a game for her friend Lucas who was in town from Utah. I’m never one to turn down games so, even though I was already playing later that day with Debbie and Dave Fanning and Tom, I couldn’t decline. So on Wednesday, I played with Karen, Lucas and Andy Bloyer from about 11 in the morning to shortly after 1 in the afternoon, and then with Deb, Dave, and Tom from 2-4 pm. And then since our court was still open Tom talked me into a partial game of full court singles. And, despite my feet killing me from playing all day, I couldn’t say no.

Besides the games that Karen set up, I also had other games set up. On Tuesday evening, I played with Janelle Lindeman’s group. And on Thursday morning (New Year’s Eve), I played with Brooke and Monty Ayala and Kim Knotts first thing in the morning before my play time with Karen, Chandi, and Kristen.


Coincidentally, we all had our Chicken N Pickle skyline shirts that day. Naturally, we had to get a group pic.


Here’s our group pic from New Year’s Day. (From left: Karen, Krista, Ching and Brooke.) I couldn’t believe how many people were CNP that morning despite the weather. The roads were so bad that I was amazed I made it to CNP without getting stuck. When I arrived, I expected the four of us to be the only ones there but no – all the courts were actually full.


After pickleball, Brooke, Karen and I stayed for the special New Year’s Day bingo event. Brooke and Karen both won stuff but I did not, which is probably how this entire year is going to go. I went home briefly after bingo and then came back to CNP again later that afternoon for my 5-7 pm game with Debbie’s group. We relocated our normal Friday night mixed to CNP because Nahola was closed for the holiday, and in doing so we also moved the time up a couple of hours.

No pickleball for me on Saturday morning because I committed to helping with the VASA group exercise sampler event at the Harry location. Did that, and then went to lunch and run errands with Brian and completely forgot about the Saturday afternoon play with Janelle’s group that I had agreed to over holiday break. Had she not texted me, I would have missed it altogether.

On Sunday, I started my Aqua Zumba class at VASA (Harry), played pickleball at the open play at Nahola, and had a pickleball lesson with Chris Heck. In the evening, I attended the pickleball farewell party for Jimmy at CNP (more on this later). And then it was back to work on Monday.

I got to do lots of pickleball and also some Zumba (my normal classes and the New Year event – more on this later too) during my time off work. It was wonderful! The only thing that would have made it even better is if I didn’t have to work at all.

I guess that’s all for now. Until next time. GNG.

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